Olunike steps in as Toastmasters president

Past presidents of Eagle Toastmasters Club - Akin Semowo (left) Amaechi Okobi; Paul Uduk; current President, Oladele Olunike; Inam Wilson; Keji Sanni and Oluyemi Adeosun at the event.

Past presidents of Eagle Toastmasters Club – Akin Semowo (left) Amaechi Okobi; Paul Uduk; current President, Oladele Olunike; Inam Wilson; Keji Sanni and Oluyemi Adeosun at the event.

The Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, recently played host to members of the Toastmasters International, who converged at the upscale venue for a special dinner with the club’s new president, Oladele Olunike. Indeed, it was a moment to set agenda that would enhance the spread of Eagle Toastmasters International.

A nonprofit educational organisation that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of helping members improve their communication, public speaking, and leadership skills, Toastmasters has been in Nigeria for over a decade, though many are privy to the existence of the club.

An avid learner, Olunike joined the club in 2009 and has remained active till date, having attended Eagle Toastmasters Club’s bi-monthly meetings. As the years passed by, he got better in personal, professional and public life, through transformational Toastmaster programme. Today, he’s a rising star.

Saddled with the responsibility of making the club more viable, vibrant and acceptable, the newly elected president and former vice president education of the club, Olunike described his election as a call to duty.

“I wouldn’t see it as being honoured; some people may see it as honour to be a president, but I see it as a call to service because of the ideals of Toastmasters. One of our core value is service and I see every promotion in every aspect of life as a call to higher responsibility. It’s a great honour to serve the club as vice president education in the 2015/2016 Toastmaster year and having that privilege, I’m also aware and sensitive to the fact that it’s a call to higher responsibility.”

He continued: “By virtue of my former office, I controlled every educational programm, but now as a president, I’m coordinating the club to make sure that the ante that have been raised in the past year is raised higher. For me, it’s an honour to call to serve and I’m grateful for it.”

On his vision for the club, he said, “Our vision for this year is titled Eagle Vision three V…Bigger Bolder and Brighter milestone, which is the payoff line. Three V stands for viable, vibrant and visible. Our vision statement is to make the club more viable, vibrant and more visible nationally. Our mission is to intensify capacity development, through the development of people communication and leadership skills.”

Olunike, 35 times best speaker and 52 times best evaluated award winner, disclosed that, “in the last 65 days, we have been steering the ship of the club in the direction of making the club more visible through our educational programmes. Being viable means that we don’t want to have people deliver speeches, but we want to see the quality in the skill they are acquiring at our club, affect them as individuals and to make them better communicators.”

He noted that, “we want people to get the best from the club, so, to make our club more vibrant, we realised that enthusiasm is key; we have discovered that in eleven years of our club in Nigeria. There’s still a vast majority of Nigerian, who need to know about Toastmasters and without blowing out trumpet, there’s a lot of good that this club have helped people achieve,” he said.

Currently in 136, Toastmasters began in 1924 in Santana, California. In over 92 years, it has helped over four million people to conquer their fear, to find their voice and release their success.

On her part, a former president of the club, Keji Sanni, encouraged both men and women, young and old to achieve success.

“There’s no discrimination and I can say as a lady, I was extremely fulfilled as a president; I was fulfilled because as a president, you have to identify those people who have those gifts that can promote the club,” she said.

In this article:
Oladele OlunikeToastmaster
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